If it's crap ... We'll tell you
When you think of a road movie, what do you usually think of. A couple of frat boys, naked chicks, drugs. Well Sideways is a little different. In fact it alot different. In fact it's really good. It's alot better then most of the road movies out today. The story is about these two guys, Miles and Jack, out on a trip to the wine country to relax before Jack has to get married. There they confront some bizzare issues that may or may not make them change thier look on life. This movie is one of the best examples of how to effectively mix comedy and drama in a very seemless way. They off put each other so much that you really do feel it. After an incredibly dramatic moment, the comedy is made all the funnier after all the drama that happened and after the comedy the drama works so well because we just came from a very happy mood. But that could be done in any other dramatic movie, but it can't be done nearly as well. One reason is because of the actors, they are all great in their roles that it sort of feels like your watching real people and NO not like a reality show, I mean how you would really watch two friends talk to each other and to others. So many things about this movie works that it's just amazing. Though it does have some problems. Sometimes I thought that the movie was trying to manipulate you and was being very over dramatic at times and I'm not the biggest fan of the music but what puts those aside and puts this movie at number ten is there is a point at the end of the movie that I will certainly never forget and that's because of just how the movie makes us feel up to this point that you don't know weather to laugh when it comes or be on the edge of your seat in anticipation. Sideways is a great movie and the tenth best movie of the decade.
Will Ferrell, what is there to say about the guy. Well I actually like him, ALOT. While I do think that some of his man child stuff is wearing a bit thin (Step Brothers, Semi-pro) I do like alot of his work. His SNL time was some of the best, I think Elf is a genuine christmas classic, and I can't help but watch Talladega Nights whenever it's on. But this was his role of a lifetime. Ferrell plays Harold Crick, a man who works for the IRS and keeps to the same scheadual every day. Suddenly he starts to hear a strange British voice that is narating his life. When all of a sudden she says that he is gonna die, Harold must find out what is going on and who this mysterious voice is. Now if that sounds interesting to you, GOOD! This by far one of the most imaginative storys to come out of this decade. I just fell in love from the premise the moment I heard it and once I saw it, it totally lived up to the expectation. Like I said the acting by Will Ferrell is great. He creates such a nice but kinda sad guy that you just can't help but want to hang around with because he's just so interesting. While I like that Sacha Baron Cohen won a Golden Globe in 2007 for Borat as an actor, I would have liked to see Ferrell win at least one award for his performance. I also really like the cinematography, looking at this city he lives in feels very clean and safe just like his life and the cinematographer captures that beautifully. The only problem I had with the movie is (weirdly enough) Maggie Gyllenhaal. Not that there wasn't anything wrong with her performance, it's just I don't like her character in general. She seemed to have switched from total psycho towards Harold to sweet as a cookie. Also I think the movie could have used more from Queen Latifah (wow did I just say that) and Emma Thompson. Other then that, to me it's Stranger then Fiction why you haven't checked out my number nine movie of the decade yet.
I've always been offput about Michel Gondry. On one hand I really didn't like Tokyo! nor did I like the science of sleep. Though he has made more hits then misses when it comes to his films. I think Block Party is one of the most underrated documentrys ever made and Be Kind Rewind was a hidden gem of 2008 that never really got the recognition it deserved. Though one movie makes me look at Michel Gondry's future in film and smile and that would be Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Why is it this movie that makes me look that way? Because it shows me that this guy knows how to tell a story. The premise is this, A man named Joel (played by Jim Carry) meets a girl named Clementine(Cate Blanchett) and has a long relationship with her until one day she has decided to go and erase Joel from her memory. In retaliation Joel decides to do the same thing, but half way through the process Joel decides that he want's to keep the memorys and want's out but he can't since he is stuck in a dream like state. I could not tell you how many times I have been asked by my mom or friends or moms friends to recommend a good romantic comedy to them and I immedietly point to this. This is in my oppinion the pinicle of romantic movies, a movie that says that romance is hard. There are high points and there are low points but the most important thing you can take from them is the memory you shared with a loved one and that no matter how much it hurts all those memorys are something to be cherished. Like I said, Michel Gondry knows how to tell a very effective and surreal story. You almost always feel like your in this weird kind of dream state even before Joel goes to sleep. From Clementine's hair to Joel's odd naration. To the look of Joels apartment it all has this very weird look to it. The performance of Jim Carry and Cate Blanchett is amazing. They are constently changeing from sets and costumes but their attitude and deliverence never does it all stays together and is great to watch as these two finally come together. Like I said I'm not sure about Michel Gondry, but if this movie is any indication of things still to come, then I belive he will be seeing the likes of my lists many times in the future.
Animated movies have come a long way since "Snow White" in 1939. Each movie trys to jump further and further into the next dimension trying to make the film more real with it's story and look. But heres a movie and a director that says " Screw that". That director would be Animation master Hayao Miyazaki and the movie is Spirited Away. The story is about a family that is on it's way to their new house when they decide to take a detour to a small village. The young girl Chihiro suspects something is wrong with the town and soon after she is flung into a fantasy world filled with dragons, whiches, wierd shadow.......things, talking frogs and many more things. I have always loved Hayao Miyazaki movies. They hold a very special place in my heart. Each time one comes out it feels like an event like the master of animation has created something for us to enjoy. I always walk out with a smile on my face after one of his movies and with this I was just speechless. Everything about this movie just screams imagination. From the locations to the creatures to the ideas and plot, this is an original movie in every sense of the word. The animation is so fluent and looks so beautiful that it's an amazing site to behold. One thing that I don't think alot of people bring up enough about this movie though is it's great sense of atmosphere. It keeps building and building and creates this great and mystic world. One scene in particular is in the latter half of the movie where Chihiro and that weird shadow thing called No face get onto a train heading for a swamp.
Roman Polanski, I think i found exactly where your life went wrong. Cause if this is what your childhood was like then, God damn, I would be screwed up too. The Pianist is the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman a jewish Pianist that lives in Poland during the 1930s. At the start of World War 2 he is forced to give up dreams of a happy career and hide amongst the ruble of the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto. There isn't much left to be said about this movie that hasn't been said already. It's AMAZING! The story is so depressing and sad and dosn't let go of the grip it has on you til about a week after you have seen the movie. The emotions the characters generate here are amazing. They suck you in and show you a dark depressing world where hope seems to not exist in this period in time. Adrian Brody does give a chillingly good performance as Szpilman. He's a man whos world was destroyed but is still able to find the means to survive. I also love the look of this film, almost every shot is shot so beautifully. When Szpilman is at the height of his career you get alot of bright colors that fits the perfect world that he's living in and when that world is taken away from him it goes into that with alot of grey colors and the Jewish ghetto, destroyed buildings everything. One scene to note is a scene where Szpilman has to play for a Good German officer.
When you think Pixar what do you think of? For me, I think perfection. Why? Because when I go to a Pixar movie I know I'm in for something good. Like with Miyazaki I treat Pixar films like events. Their always a ton of fun to go to and always have me leaving with a smile on my face. Pixar is able to tell such original, interesting, funny stories and make the movie for kids but also make it for adults. and with Up, I think they have finally perfected this craft. The story is about a man named Carl Fredrickson who dreams of one day becoming an explorer. He meets a girl at a young age named Ellie who also wants to be an adventurer. They grow up together and live out thier lives, but at an old age Ellie dies and Carl must live on. But he soon decides to float his house down to south america to land on top of these famous falls that he and Ellie dreamed about. But he seems to have a stow away on board named Russel. A Boy scout who is trying to earn his assisting the elderly badge. When they get to the falls they enter a new adventure that neither of them could have possibly imagined. This is by far Pixars most mature film to date. It deals with ideas that alot of other children's films wouldn't go near let alone let into it's movie. The idea of getting old, excepting death and continuing to live someones journey after their gone are all examined here. Carl is a great character, he's mean, but likable. He may be angry at times but it's understandable, he's still grieving and dosn't want to put up with any annoyances. I also love Doug the dog, by far one of pixars best new character since Wall-e. Another thing that I have always really liked about Pixar is that all their jokes are original jokes. I don't mind a pop culture joke every now and then, but not all the time (Dreamworks). Now some may wonder why I put this higher then The Pianist, well it's because this movie dares to do things differently in a genre that isn't really known for that. Dramas like the Pianist are known for showing something dark and ugly and sad. But animated films are supposed to be happy and fun for the kids kind of thing. But this movie treats kids like actual people and dosn't talk down to them about sensative subjects. It shows them death and getting old through one of the greatest montages ever put to film and really pulls at your heartstrings(especially near the end when he gets his house on top of the falls the first time). Up, an amazing movie from an amazing company.
You know who I love, Clive Owen. Every time I see him he's always incredibly entertaining to watch. Whether it be in some thing good (Inside Man, Gosford Park, Elizibeth: The Golden Age) or something bad (King Arthur, Derailed) or something awesome (Shoot em' up, Sin City) he's always the guy I like to pay attention to. And no movie illustraits this point better then Children of Men. The story is about the end of the world. All the women of the world are now infertile and no children have been born in 18 years. Theo (Clive Owen) is just a guy trying to live his day when he is pulled in too a secret group by his ex, Julian (Julian Moore). After he is then introduced to a girl who is pregnant and decides that he must protect this girl and save the future. This is one of the best but most underappriciated Sci-fi movies ever made. The style of film making in this movie is so unique that it's amazing. They use this sort of sudo documentary style of filming the movie, with long tracking shots, dirt and blood splatering the camera and the perpose of this style of film making is to make you feel like your in the movie. and my god does it work. You really get involved with this world and these characters this way and when one of them dies, it's kinda hard to take. It's really sad. I also really like Clive Owens character, he just seems like a normal guy who gets thrown into this situation. He gets asked to join the group but dosn't accept right away. It makes him feel more real. The story in of it self is interesting as well. What would we do if we couldn't reproduce anymore? Would we really cease to exist would massive anarchy and dictatorship rise up? These are all very interesting questions that the movie does a nice job of giving us a glimpse into this future and shows us what would happen if the end was near. If you need any more proof that this film really sucks you in, just watch this one shot.
Lost in Translation seems like one of those movies that is just kind of hard for me to describe why I like it so much. It just seems to do alot of things right. It's a movie that I think shows one of the most realistic look at romance ever put on film. The story is about an out of work actor named Bob Harris (Bill Murray) who, while shooting spirit commercials in Tokyo, meets a woman named Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson). Both are married but have a different amount of time. Bob for twenty five years and Charlotte for two years. They come together and start to get along with each other and meet each other on the same dramatic level and emotional level. OKAY STOP! Just from that what do you think is going to happen? Well you would be wrong. This is one of the reasons I love this movie so much, this movie manages to dodge so many of the same old tired cliches that romantic comedys/dramas tend to have. There isn't any sex, there arn't any subtle *wink wink* moments, they don't kiss? NO! This isn't about that. This is a story of the meeting of the minds. Two generations and two marriedges that aren't working coming to meet each other and accepting each other as humans. Bill Murray is so good as Bob Harris. He finds just the right note to play his character on. He's funny but subtlely funny. He dosn't go over the top with any of this stuff he's very calm and collected through the movie. His humor actually reminds me of my own humor. Sounds kind of weird and nervous but still funny. Johansson is also really great. She manages to pull of this semi newly married with a very likable personality and another good sense of humor about her. Tokyo also looks amazing. It feels very big and very intimidating but it really gives the audience a kind of underwater feel to the whole movie. Yet again, I can't just point to what I like most about this movie it's just a build up of all of these things that makes it my number three.
People need I say anymore then the title of this movie? It's Batman! How much better could you actually get then Batman. How's about the greatest Batman movie ever! It also happens to be one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. The story is that Batman (Christian Bale) has pretty much been cleaning house in Gotham. All the criminals are getting very nervous until a mysterious criminal madman known as the Joker (Heath Ledger) and says that the only way to get back everything they once owned they would have to kill the Batman. Meanwhile Bruce Wayne is having troubles in his own life. He is trying to support his friend Rachael Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) new relationship to District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) but he also want's to find someone who would be able to take up Batman's name legally through the court system. But as the Joker begins to sink his fingers into Batmans life, Bruce's world begins to spin out of control. Will the Dark Knight rise to fight the Clown Prince of Crime? This movie is epic in every sense of the word. This rivalry between the Joker and Batman is so interesting in this movie and so well done that puts the one between Keaton and Nicholson to shame. This story is also one of the highlights of the movie. The story is the classic Batman tale of fighting the Joker. But here it starts to involve other elements into it self. Such as the meaning of being a hero, how far should you take it? How strong is the human's good will? What are you willing to sacrifice to be a hero that the people need? These elements are all answered very well in the story and give the Joker V.S. Batman story a much needed sense of Epicness. This is also the most real Batman has ever been. This is movie is a movie I can watch and say that if superheros where alive this probley be what they would use to do things in. Though of course who can forget the acting? All of the performances were very well done (Yes, Bale too) and really captured the personality of the characters they were basing them selfs off of. Except for Ledger of course who goes and creates something completely original and one of the greatest movie villains of all time. His sick sadistic ways of torturing Batman are ingenious and very intimidating. The last thing is the look of the movie. It all looks incredibly good, all the high sky scrapers and low angles gives the city a very big feel and emphasizes the epicness of it all. The Dark knight is a land mark achievement in superhero movies and second greatest films of the decade.
It was a Saturday afternoon when my Dad came to get me. We decided to go see the new movie that everyone was raving about. We drove down to the Boulder Century movie theater, parked in a 2 story parking garage and went to the theater. Around the lobby were posters for Up and Watchmen. After getting popcorn and soda we went into the theater while passing signs for FU and The International. We sat in the 4th row from the bottom and the movie began. That is a detailed retelling of what happened up to the start of The Wrestler. It is a movie experience I will never forget as long as I live. The story is about a Wrestler named Randy "The Ram" Robinson. He wrestles for a career and can't imagine his life without it, until he is forced into retirement from suffering so many injury's to his body over the years and the fact that he is getting on in life and can't keep doing this forever. And the rest of the movie is just him trying to establish a life for himself after his wrestling career. What's there to say about this movie? It's Incredible. When I was making this list I honestly couldn't think of a movie that deserved the spot like this one did. The story is told amazingly well by Darren Aaronofsky. It's a sad and emotional roller coaster through the life of a guy who want's to do his job but can't for the risk of dieing by it. The things this guy goes through and the emotions that he conveys when he is working at his normal job or trying to win the respect of his daughter all make the story seem that much more powerful and sad when we see the Ram fail at a normal life. The performances are what really sell this movie though. When people said this was the return of Mickey Rourke, they weren't kidding. This is probley his best performance since Diner. He gives the Ram such a likable personality and such a cool demeanor that it truly makes us sad when something bad happens to him and wanting to cheer when he does something cool or good for himself. He's a guy obsessed with wrestling and why not? He lives in a trailer park, works as a butcher, his daughter hates him. He doesn't have the greatest life. But when he's wrestling, all of that goes away and he becomes overjoyed with himself. And giving that up means something more to him, it means giving up his own happiness. Marissa Tomei is also amazing. She gives off an amazing aura of kindness but uncertainty towards The Ram. She doesn't know how to feel about him and is very weary of what he is and what he also represents. And Even Rachael Wood, that girl has got a career ahead of her. and that's all I'm gonna say. I love the look of this movie as well. It's shot in jersey and has this very real, grimy and ugly look to it that only New Jersey can provide. And the last ten minuets of this movie are some of the most heartbreakingly cry your eyes out but then stand and cheer moments I have ever seen. After that last shot of the movie was over and when it ends a strange chill runs up my spine and I feel really proud but also incredibly sad at the same time. And I feel that's the greatest sign of an amazing movie. If it can keep leaving an impact on you, it is a great movie. And my number one movie of the decade.